Carbon Tax

February 19,2008.   B.C. becomes the first North American jurisdiction to introduce a consumer based carbon tax.

The carbon tax will apply to virtually all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane, and home heating fuel. B.C.’s carbon tax, the provincial government claims, will be the most comprehensive in the world.  Source.

Natural gas is so benign with respect to carbon it’s hard to imagine how natural gas is listed among the culprits in this news report. Most jurisdictions see natural gas as part of the solution rather than as part of the problem.

February 20,2008.   "Honda Civic GX Natural Gas Car Tops Greenies’ List", says the headline.

The natural gas-powered Honda Civic has won the green ribbon from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as the greenest vehicle of 2008. It’s the fifth consecutive year it’s taken the top prize.   Source.

February 21,2008.   Ports in California begin to mandate trucks that run on liquefied natural gas.

LONG BEACH, Calif. — After months of debate, the Port of Long Beach harbour commissioners voted to approve a plan calling for replacement of at least half of current port drayage diesel trucks with trucks powered by clean alternative fuels — specifically liquefied natural gas (LNG) or other alternative power technology.  Source:

February 20,2008.  Vancouver based Westport Innovations is awarded 2.5 million to have it’s natural gas engines certified for 2010 EPA emissions standards.

Westport Innovations Inc. has been awarded $2.25 million from California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to support the company’s heavy-duty liquid natural gas (LNG) fuel systems.

“To meet our clean air goals here in Southern California, we need to accelerate the deployment of clean-fueled heavy-duty vehicles,” said Barry Wallerstein, SCAQMD executive officer. “This investment in Westport’s clean vehicle technology is an important step in making this goal a reality.” Source.

The irony in all this is that B.C. is an exporter of natural gas and the prospect of B.C. becoming more important as a natural gas producer is happening at the same time.

In Canada, the hottest gas shale prospect is the Horn River Basin of northeastern British Columbia (BC). The Horn River Basin attracted industry attention initially because of a regional study done in 2004 by CBM Solutions for the BC government (available at

/petroleum_geology/uncog/shale.htm#Studies). This study shows the presence of a thick sequence of Devonian-age shale with attributes similar to those of the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin – the most productive shale basin in the world. The Horn River Basin is larger, the shales thicker, and many geologists think the shales there are even more prospective than those of the Fort Worth Basin.  Source.

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One Response to Carbon Tax

  1. Josh says:

    "Natural gas is so benign with respect to carbon"Fascinating comment. Natural gas produces 70% as much CO2 as oil and 55% as much as coal. While it\’s indeed less, that\’s far from negligible. (Unless you consider two bombs benign compared with three!) One thing I haven\’t been able to find: is the tax on natural gas at the same level as the tax on gas, oil and coal or is it based on the carbon? Because if it\’s based on the carbon and natural gas is oh-so-benign, then there isn\’t much of an issue, is there?

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